Many health issues in dogs may not require a costly trip to the veterinarian clinic, as they can be addressed at home, by way of using a variety of home remedies.
Below are some of the most potent, best home remedies for dogs that owners should keep in mind, listed alongside each potential dog health problem, in alphabetical order.
Aconite: a common remedy for dog anxiety and fear, sold commercially and available in several forms, online or at most places that sell homeopathic remedies.
Dog-appeasing Essential Oil Diffuser: also known as D.A.P. Studies have found these pheromones to be one of the most effective for calming dogs and their anxiety.
Herbs: there are quite a few herbs that can be used to help minimize or diminish a dog’s anxiety, including chamomile, valerian, and St. John’s Wort, and a lot more.
Lavender Infused Collar: lavender is known to calm both people and dogs, and this type of collar can be purchased online or your make it at home.
Rescue Remedy: a very popular and effective commercial product that contains a blend of flower extracts, which you can purchase here. Our contributing veterinarian has named it one of her and other vets' favorite treatments for dogs.
Zylkene: a natural remedy for anxiety in dogs that is made from a milk protein that creates a calm feeling in the dog, available in capsule form. Dogs Naturally Magazine has more information about this topic in their Natural Solutions for Dog Anxiety.
READ MORE: 15 Best Audiobooks for Dogs With Anxiety
Brush Dog’s Teeth: the best natural remedy is simply the act of brushing itself. Ideally, you should brush at least once daily, but if not, then once a week. You can use a natural dog toothpaste which you can make yourself.
Cinnamon: this breath-freshening spice can be sprinkled on a dog’s food, or add one to two drops in the oil form to their water.
Coconut Oil: benefits of coconut oil are well-known. Add a teaspoon of this to dog’s food to help fight bad breath; it can also be used to brush a dog’s teeth.
Dental Chews: look for natural dog chews that have chlorophyll, cinnamon, and cloves in their ingredients, or otherwise scientifically proven ingredients.
Healthy Mouth Dental Water: sold commercially (like this one), this water contains a blend of natural ingredients designed to kill dog's mouth bacteria and get rid of a dog’s bad breath, including enzymes and chlorophyll.
Neem: similar to coconut oil, this extract that comes from the neem tree has a plethora of positive effects on a dog’s overall health and can be added to their food twice a week to promote oral health.
Peppermint or Spearmint Oil: add one to two drops to the dog’s water bowl and it'll work like Listerine, freshening your pet's breath.
Probiotics: using a pet probiotic that is made for dogs will replace the bad bacteria in their gut with good bacteria and that wards off bad breath.
READ MORE: How to Make a Dog’s Breath Smell Better
Note: Only use one of these remedies at a time. Using more than one and given together, they can lead to severe diarrhea and dehydration in dogs.
Coconut Oil or Olive Oil: natural fruit or vegetable, added to your dog's food or water, can act as a lubricant to soften your dog’s stool. Remember to never administer oils directly into the dog’s mouth, as they can be inhaled this way, and can cause pneumonia if inhaled.
Exercise: being sedentary can cause constipation in dogs and can be remedied by simply taking the dog on a long walk and/or playing fetch with them for at least 15-30 minutes, twice each day.
Ginger and Broth: commonly used to relieve indigestion, mix 1/4 teaspoon of ginger into a half cup of chicken or beef broth, and feed it to dogs suffering from constipation.
Green Beans: add cooked green beans into your dog's kibble or homemade meal, which are rich in fiber, to help speed up bowl movements.
Milk: many dogs are lactose intolerant and shouldn't drink milk, but giving a dog a very small bowl of milk can stimulate movement to alleviate constipation.
Milk of Magnesia: this is only for very severe cases of dog constipation, where milk of magnesia can be given to dogs.
Mix one tablespoon into dog’s food, or mix into pumpkin and add the combination to the food.
Prunes: just as they work for people, they can work for dogs too. Add diced prunes to dog’s food (kibble or home cooked meal), making sure to never add any part of the pit of a prune to the food, as prune pits are toxic to dogs.
Psyllium: also known as unflavored Metamucil, this treatment is sold commercially at most drug and grocery stores, and mixing 1/2 of a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of a dog’s body weight into his or her food once daily can relieve constipation.
Pumpkin: add 1 to 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin to a constipated dog’s food. Always make sure it is plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling, as the added sugars and spices in the pie filling can be toxic to dogs.
Water: dehydration can cause and worsen constipation, thus increasing a dog’s water intake is helpful and important when he or she is constipated, especially if their fiber intake has been increased.
Wet Food: canned wet food has higher water content than dry food and can help relieve constipation when given to dogs instead of dry food.
Note: Never apply essential oils to a dog's skin or fur without diluting them first, and always avoid spraying these oils near your dog's face (eyes, nose, mouth) as they can be painful and harmful.
The best way to apply the mixture is to spray on a rag first.
Aloe: apply the gel from an aloe plant to a dog’s ears to deter flies.
Apple Cider Vinegar: apply topically, making a mixture of a 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar and distilled water in a spray bottle, and administer to dog’s ears and face, or add to dog’s water, but most dog’s do not like the taste.
Citronella Oil: make a spray with one ounce of this oil, plus one-ounce apple cider vinegar, mixed with one cup of distilled water, and apply topically.
Essential Oils: several oils will naturally repel flies, including geranium, Idaho tansy, lavender, lemon, rosemary, and sandalwood, dilute 5 to 10 drops of the essential oil in a 32-ounce spray bottle of distilled water and apply to dog topically.
Healthy Diet: feeding a dog the best quality and nutrition rich foods will help keep the dog strong and healthy, which makes the dog less appealing to flies than weak and unhealthy animals.
Ointment: mix equal parts permoxin (an insecticide made to keep fleas, ticks, and flies away from dogs) and baby oil, and apply to dog’s ears to heal and prevent bites.
Rubs: apply a mentholated rub or Vaseline product to a dog’s ears to prevent flies buzzing around your dog.
Environment: keeping the environment clean, picking up your dog's poop and so forth will significantly decrease the amount of lies flying near your dog (among many other benefits).
Apple Cider Vinegar: mix 4 oz warm water, 6 oz unfiltered and organic ACV, and 1/4 teaspoon sea salt in a spray bottle, and spray on dog’s coat and underbelly, once per week.
Baking Soda: sprinkle baking soda all over your carpets and furniture, rub it in with a hard brush, vacuum the home and furniture thoroughly, empty contents of vacuum in a bag and throw it away outside.
Dish Soap: fill bowls or plates with a mixture of warm water and dish soap and set them in the rooms that have flea activity. The mixture acts like a glue, trapping and killing the fleas. Repeat this method with fresh soap water daily until fleas are gone, and set out at night as fleas are nocturnal.
Flea Repelling Plants: basil, catnip, chrysanthemums, lavender, lemon balm, lemongrass, mint, penny royal, rosemary, sage, and spearmint plants can be placed throughout the home, especially by all doors, and in outdoor living spaces to naturally repel fleas due to the fact that they contain specific oils and chemicals that fleas despise.
Garlic Water Spray: fleas hate garlic, so it'd be effective to mix 8 heads of garlic with nearly boiling water in a large soup pan, let it sit for 10 hours, strain garlic cloves out, pour remaining mixture into a garden sprayer, and lightly spray all outdoor lawn and garden areas. Do not soak your lawn or garden as doing so can harm good bugs.
Herbal Spray: mix 4 liters of vinegar, 2 liters of water, 500 ml of lemon juice, and 250 ml of witch hazel in a large spray bottle, heavily spray this mixture on carpets, floors of all type, furniture, bedding (both dog and human), and window sills AFTER vacuuming, dusting, and sweeping the house, and washing all human and dog bedding, as well as infected furniture cushions/pillows.
Lemon Spray: cut a lemon into quarters, put in a pint-sized container, pour boiling water over it, let it sit overnight, pour mixture into a spray bottle and spray all over any infested areas and surfaces, dampen but do not soak the areas that need sprayed.
Neem Oil: add a few drops of this natural tree oil to your pet's shampoo, or dilute it with a tiny bit of dawn dish washing soap and spray directly on your dog’s coat to deter fleas. It can also be applied directly to the dog.
Salt: sprinkle finely ground salt all over your carpets and flooring in each room, leave it to sit and dehydrate fleas for 1 to 2 days, then vacuum the house thoroughly and empty contents of the vacuum into an outdoor trashcan. Read more about this topic in the following article, A Pet Parent’s Guide to Home Remedies for Fleas.
Note: Natural tick deterrents are most effective when used in combination with one another.
Apple Cider Vinegar: once again, this mixture comes to the rescue – simply add two tablespoons to a dog’s food or water.
Citrus Repellent: cut a lemon into quarters, put in a pint-sized container, pour boiling water over it, let it sit overnight, pour mixture into a spray bottle and spray it on your dog.
Garlic: large amounts of garlic are toxic, but a tiny bit added to your dog’s food makes their smell less attractive to ticks.
Essential Oils: apply a few drops of Rose Geranium or Palo Santo essential oil to a dog’s collar, or mix with 2 tablespoons of almond (carrier) oil and apply directly to dog’s neck.
Pants for Dog: to protect just his paws, you can buy doggy socks or booties. For more protection, using your own old socks can also work, or anything that will fit a dog like pants and prevent ticks from latching onto his or her legs, especially if the dog is hiking through tall grass or wooded areas known to have ticks.
Tick Shampoo: mix several drops of Palo Santo essential oil with an organic lavender shampoo, lather it into dog’s fur, let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse.
Activated Charcoal: found powder form or tablet form, four tablets can be dissolved in lukewarm water and given to your dog by mouth, via a syringe, up to three times a day until a dog stops having diarrhea.
This helps to absorb any toxins in the digestive system and clean out bacteria and/or viruses causing the diarrhea.
Fresh Water: dehydration is not only the result of diarrhea but can also be the cause of dog diarrhea, so make sure your pup always has access to clean, fresh water that is changed multiple times each day.
Bland Foods: including boiled or baked potatoes, cooked white rice, plain protein such as eggs, boiled chicken or turkey, and plain chicken broth with no added seasoning. Everything must be cooked plain, without butter, oil, or seasonings and the skin on the meat and potatoes must be removed before serving.
Electrolyte Drinks: diarrhea causes dehydration, and certain drinks such as unflavored Pedialyte can help to replenish nutrients and electrolytes.
Herbs: such as fennel, ginger, and slippery elm have soothing effects on dog's upset stomachs and can all be given safely to canines. You can find these herbs online, or at most natural food and homeopathic health stores.
Pepto Bismol: use a syringe to administer Pepto Bismol to your dog, via their mouth, following the weight directions found on the back of the bottle, for the weight of the dog.
Probiotics: found naturally in plain yogurt and cottage cheese, which should only be fed to dogs that do well with milk products or this could make the diarrhea worse.
For dogs who are lactose intolerant, there are powdered and capsule forms of probiotics that can be mixed into the dog’s food.
Pumpkin: add 1 to 4 tablespoons of canned pumpkin to a constipated dog’s food, make sure it is plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling as the added sugars and spices in the filling can be toxic to dogs.
Rice Water: boil high-quality rice in a large amount of distilled water, strain out all rice grains, serve dog the creamy white soup that remains, a bit of broth or baby food can be added to help the soup taste better and entice dogs to drink it.
READ MORE: What Can I Give My Dog for Diarrhea?
Ear Wax Removal
Almond Oil: apply almond oil to a cotton ball or gauze pad and rub inside your dog’s ears.
Apple Cider Vinegar: apply a solution of half ACV and half distilled water to cotton balls and rub the mixture gently inside the dog’s ears.
Vinegar and Alcohol: mix one-third white vinegar to two-thirds water with one half teaspoon of isopropyl alcohol in a bottle and shake it up to mix contents, dab cotton balls with this solution into dog’s ears.
Enzymes: add foods to a dog’s diet that are known to have specialized proteins called enzymes (such as papaya, melon, raw honey, bee pollen, and coconut water) which help break down the food a dog eats into smaller, easier to digest pieces. Alternatively, purchase a high-quality enzyme formula dietary supplement that can be added to a dog’s food.
Ginger: scientific research has revealed that ginger helps to stimulate and promotes a healthy digestive process in dogs. Amounts of ginger that a dog should be given are based on their weight.
Parsley: add a 2 to 3 tablespoons of freshly chopped or dried parsley to your dog’s food to help reduce odorous smells in their digestive system, resulting in less smelly gas.
Peppermint Oil: add one to two drops of peppermint oil to a dog’s water or food to help reduce the amount of gas a dog has.
Yogurt: this food, that most dogs love to eat, is one of the easiest ways to get good bacteria into a dog’s digestive system, which will in turn benefit proper digestion and lead to the dog having less gas.
Motion Sickness in the Car
Ginger Root Extract: give a dog that you know often gets car sick this remedy approximately 30 minutes before taking him on a car ride.
Nux Vomica: this homeopathic remedy is sold commercially online and at most natural food and homeopathic stores, in pellet form.
Veterinarians commonly advise pet owners to give 4 to 6 pellets to a dog via their mouth, letting the tablets fully dissolve in the dog’s mouth before car rides.
Sprayed by Skunk
Apple Cider Vinegar: once again, mix two parts water with one part ACV, wet the dog’s coat thoroughly, then work the ACV solution throughout all of the fur, let sit for 5 minutes and rinse well, making sure the solution does not get in dog’s eyes as it will burn.
Feminine Hygiene Products: for small pets, mix 2 oz Massengill douche with one gallon water (for large pets double the amount of both ingredients), thoroughly rub mixture into dog’s coat, let sit for 15 minutes, then wash your pooch with pet shampoo and rinse well.
Vanilla Extract: mix one cup pure vanilla extract with one gallon of water and pour the mixture all over the dog, let it sit for 10 minute, then wash the pup off with dog shampoo.
Hydrogen Peroxide Mix: combine one quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of Dawn dish wash liquid, rub thoroughly into dog’s coat making sure to keep it out of their eyes, let sit for 5 minutes, then rinse out well.
READ NEXT: How to Get Rid of Skunk Smell on Dogs